Freedom vs. equality

Government can force people to be equal, or it can allow people to be free.  Government cannot do both.

America's founders understood this simple truth.  Today's Americans seem not to.  We the People are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights – life, liberty (aka, freedom), and the pursuit of happiness.  Life and the pursuit of happiness flow directly from freedom, as does equality – equality under the law, not equality of our individual life experiences and accomplishments.

The left constantly bombards us with a growing list of inequalities, which generally relate to unequal wealth among our three hundred million Americans.  The right typically responds by caving – in small amounts, to be sure.  But this forward "progress" toward collectivism, socialism, and whatever evil lies beyond them accumulates and produces today's America. 

When state and local governments force equality with rent control and low-income housing, it may not be sound governance, but at least it generally passes the constitutionality test.  But when the national government forces equality with welfare, minimum wage, Social Security, and subsidized health insurance, it not only is unwise and dangerous, but also flies directly in the face of America's founding principles as recited in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution for the United States of America, and the many ratification debates and documents for that constitution.

If we allow the left to dominate our conversation about the direction of American society, we will continue our progress toward socialism.  The right must counter those leftist demands for equality with clear statements about the fundamental value of freedom.  Thus far, I have heard very little from the right in defense of freedom.

The history of America demonstrates clearly that freedom is the best friend of the poor and minorities.  For centuries, America has been the principal magnet for people worldwide to escape the chains of despotism and build a free life of value for their families.  Government redistribution programs have not performed this miracle.  Freedom has. 

Freedom has allowed entrepreneurs to form businesses that serve the needs of people and are the only sustainable source of wealth accumulation for the American people.  Government "equality programs" serve only to stand in the way of small business development and ultimately hurt the very people the left claims to care about.

Instead of trying to moderate the degree of government transfer programs, the right should be relentlessly contrasting freedom with equality as the way to move toward a more prosperous and just society.  Every proposed government program must be measured against whether it increases or decreases the sum of individual freedoms of Americans.  We learned this from our founders, who learned it from the Age of Enlightenment.  In the last half century, we have forgotten that lesson.

Only when We the People once more appreciate that freedom, not equality, in the fundamental defining element of American society will we regain our position of moral leader of the Free World.

Government can force people to be equal, or it can allow people to be free.  Government cannot do both.

America's founders understood this simple truth.  Today's Americans seem not to.  We the People are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights – life, liberty (aka, freedom), and the pursuit of happiness.  Life and the pursuit of happiness flow directly from freedom, as does equality – equality under the law, not equality of our individual life experiences and accomplishments.

The left constantly bombards us with a growing list of inequalities, which generally relate to unequal wealth among our three hundred million Americans.  The right typically responds by caving – in small amounts, to be sure.  But this forward "progress" toward collectivism, socialism, and whatever evil lies beyond them accumulates and produces today's America. 

When state and local governments force equality with rent control and low-income housing, it may not be sound governance, but at least it generally passes the constitutionality test.  But when the national government forces equality with welfare, minimum wage, Social Security, and subsidized health insurance, it not only is unwise and dangerous, but also flies directly in the face of America's founding principles as recited in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution for the United States of America, and the many ratification debates and documents for that constitution.

If we allow the left to dominate our conversation about the direction of American society, we will continue our progress toward socialism.  The right must counter those leftist demands for equality with clear statements about the fundamental value of freedom.  Thus far, I have heard very little from the right in defense of freedom.

The history of America demonstrates clearly that freedom is the best friend of the poor and minorities.  For centuries, America has been the principal magnet for people worldwide to escape the chains of despotism and build a free life of value for their families.  Government redistribution programs have not performed this miracle.  Freedom has. 

Freedom has allowed entrepreneurs to form businesses that serve the needs of people and are the only sustainable source of wealth accumulation for the American people.  Government "equality programs" serve only to stand in the way of small business development and ultimately hurt the very people the left claims to care about.

Instead of trying to moderate the degree of government transfer programs, the right should be relentlessly contrasting freedom with equality as the way to move toward a more prosperous and just society.  Every proposed government program must be measured against whether it increases or decreases the sum of individual freedoms of Americans.  We learned this from our founders, who learned it from the Age of Enlightenment.  In the last half century, we have forgotten that lesson.

Only when We the People once more appreciate that freedom, not equality, in the fundamental defining element of American society will we regain our position of moral leader of the Free World.